Why is there a shortage of land to build on?
The shortage of developable land is primarily due to development work only being allowed within the settlement boundaries of towns and villages. To build outside a boundary (usually designated Greenfield) the building must either replace an existing dwelling, or have an occupational or agricultural tie. Within settlement boundaries, most people buy plots with a view to demolishing and replacing an existing structure, or build on infill sites created from sub-divided gardens. Settlement boundaries do change, so it is worth checking with your local authority.
How do I find my perfect plot of land?
Many good plots do not reach the open market; if you know the area where you want to build, it is a good idea to let it be known that you are looking for a plot. Local press, auctions and estate agents are good sources, but many agents prefer to deal with developers rather than individuals, so you will need to continually remind them that you are looking for land. There are a few plot-finding services for self-builders; most advertise online or in self-build magazines such as Home Building and Renovating. We occasionally have plots of land for sale locally, however we do not have a plot-finding service.
Should I buy a plot without Planning Permission?
Unless you are willing to take a huge risk, you should only purchase a plot with Outline Planning Permission (OPP) at least, or else the sale should be conditional on OPP being granted.